Docurated Podcast Episode 6: How to Elevate the Role of Sales Enablement
In episode six of the Docurated Podcast, we speak with Nicole O’Brien, Senior Director and Consultant at the Tiferet Group and founding member of The Sales Enablement Society.
Nicole is one of the foremost voices on sales enablement in business today. In an impressive career, Nicole has worked in a range of marketing, communications, and enablement roles for companies like Dimension Data, Unisys, Global Computer Enterprises, and Saturn Technologies.
In today’s episode Fergal and Nicole discuss the formation of the Sales Enablement Society, the organization’s goals, and future direction. Nicole also provides some actionable tips on how to elevate the role of sales enablement within the organization. Finally, Fergal and Nicole assess the state of sales enablement today pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses they see at companies today.
To hear more insights from Nicole, give her a follow on Twitter today @NicoleMOB.
The Sales Enablement Society
Fergal kicked off the discussion by asking Nicole for more info on the Sales Enablement Society and how it came into existence.
Nicole explained that she met with some other enablement leaders in the DC area and “decided to figure out what the best practices would be. We shared a common frustration when we realized we were the VPs of broken things. We wanted to figure out a way to align everyone and get them pulling in the right direction. Creating thought leadership material, then going to meet the sales team who weren’t using your materials. Not only this, they don’t even know it exists half the time – which is a major problem for Marketing. It’s not what the customer needs.
We also found that there were other areas in enablement causing frustration. So we compared notes and figured out the differences and similarities between our organizations with the goal of finding out what the best sales enablement organizations looked like. After many months of meetings, we hammered out what really is the overall concept that sales enablement should be run like a business within a business. If you have a leadership role you have to look at the way your org talks to the other pieces and really unerstand where the dollars you spend go. You have to run it like the end customer is sales.”
How to Elevate Sales Enablement
Fergal went on to point out how enablement is becoming more strategic at some of the world’s most progressive companies. However, at other companies, there is still much to do to elevate the role of enablement.
Nicole explained that to elevate the role first you have to think about it strategically and quantify it in a way that an exec looks at the business. She continued: “you might be a CMO or VP because sales enablement is organized very differently at every company. The operating model is very varied. The job is very similar though. In order to elevate your role you have to do a couple of things:
- Make sure that you are using a bottoms up approach and running it as though it was your business. Being strategic about what you are creating. Look at what you do as providing a service to sales leaders and how it benefits the client-facing people you are serving.
- You have to make sure you are communicating upwards to the c-suite in a way that they understand. We often don’t speak the same language as the CFO. Explain how what you are doing impacts the bottom line.”
Click on the soundcloud above to hear the interview in full and get some more great enablement tips from Nicole!
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